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Honey Butter Turkey Breast Recipe on the Pellet Grill

January 04, 2023

Honey Butter Turkey Breast Recipe on the Pellet Grill

If you’re a fan of white turkey meat, you’ll love my Honey Butter Turkey Breast Recipe. The turkey is seasoned with my world-famous Honey Chipotle Rub and soaked in a honey butter wrap. Within 3 hours, you’ll have a beautiful turkey breast full of sweet, smoky flavor. 

This recipe would be a great alternative to your usual holiday turkey.  Many people prefer the ease of cooking just a portion of the bird. Some even say the turkey breast is the best part! If you didn’t believe that before, one bite of my Honey Butter Turkey Breast will convince you.

Honey Butter Turkey Breast Recipe on the Pellet Grill

 If you’re craving turkey but don’t want to spend all day over the stove, I’ve got you covered. 

Turkey breasts are one of the easiest things to make on the pit. They’re one of the best “fix it and forget it” cuts around! I kept this recipe simple; no injection or brine was required. Add a butter wrap, and you have a foolproof recipe for success. 

The Ingredients

This simple recipe comes together with just seven ingredients. I can guarantee you have at least two of them in your pantry! Here’s what you need to add to your shopping cart. 

  • 3-pound boneless turkey breasts. For this cook,  I used Butterball turkey breasts and cooked three. I’ve noticed this particular cut goes on sale around the holidays, so keep an eye out and stock the freezer. 
  • Spray butter. I used spray butter to keep the turkey breast moist. Butter spray is easily found at most grocery stores and is much easier than basting melted butter. It doesn’t detract from the flavor, as other liquids do. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Honey Chipotle Rub. This delicious rub is made with high-quality chipotle peppers, honey granules, and paprika. It’s a great addition to steak, pork, chicken, or turkey. Even though it contains chipotle, this rub is mild enough for kids to enjoy. 
  • Turbinado sugar. This brilliant sugar adds gorgeous golden color to the bark. Turbinado sugar is slightly more gourmet than white sugar, retaining some natural sugarcane juice. It has a flavor between white and brown sugar, making it great for DIY rubs.
  • Coarse black pepper. A little pepper gives the rub a savory element. Like salt, pepper amps up every other flavor. Coarse black pepper sticks to the other spices, creating a superb bark that stays put. 
  • Butter. This turkey breast is coated in a literal butter bath. I used one stick of butter, halved lengthwise, per turkey breast. The bark sucks in moisture, so this was just the right amount. 
  • Honey. The finishing touch to a great turkey breast is natural honey. The honey caramelizes on the pit, adding a sticky-sweet element. Since the turkey is wrapped, your meat won’t become charred. 
  • The Smoker Setup

    Here’s the main equipment I used for this cook. You can find more of my must-haves in the Equipment and Tools section. 

    • Pellet grill/smoker. I used a Traeger for this recipe. This setup is a grill and smoker in one. Traeger goes out of their way to create gorgeous pits that hold heat. The Traeger can smoke four whole turkeys at once and is excellent for hosting parties. For this cook, I removed all but the lower rack.
    • If you like bells and whistles, you’ll love this model. It has a pellet sensor so you’ll never run low, included meat probe, and all-terrain wheels for easy transportation. 
    • Pellets. For this cook, I used pecan wood pellets. This selection infuses the turkey with a brilliant nutty flavor. 

    The Process for Making Honey Butter Turkey Breast

    You can find a detailed demonstration in the recipe card and video at the bottom of this post. For now, here’s a brief overview of how I pulled this cook together. 

  • Fire up the Traeger. I stoked the Traeger with Royal Oak Charcoal and pecan pellets, then fired it up to 325℉. 
  • Create the rub. I created a custom rub by placing a cup of my Honey Chipotle Rub, ½ cup of Turbinado sugar, and 2 tablespoons of coarse black pepper in a sandwich bag. I sealed the bag and shook it to mix. This is an easy method that is mess-free.
  • Prep the turkey breast. I removed the turkey breasts from the package, keeping the netting on. I didn’t add brine or injection because Butterball did that for me. All I had to do was trim any excess mesh and pat the turkey dry. 
  • Season. I laid down a good coat of my homemade rub, ensuring each side of the turkey breast was coated. This turkey breast can take more seasoning because pulling the netting off will remove some of it. Pro tip: Put the rub in a shaker jar. 
  • Smoke and spritz. I laid the turkey breasts directly on the lower rack of the Traeger and let them go for 1 hour. After that hour mark, I spritzed each breast with butter spray. I inserted my ChefAlarm in the smallest turkey breast and set it to 140℉-145℉. 
  • Wrap the turkey. I removed the turkey breast from the mesh netting and laid it on a double-lined sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Then I put half a stick of butter underneath the turkey and drizzled honey all over it. To finish the butter bath, I laid the rest of the butter on top of the meat, then wrapped it securely. 
  • Finish and rest. I returned the wrapped turkey to the grill and let it smoke until it reached 160℉-165℉ internally. My total cook time was 2 hours and 15 minutes. I removed the meat from the pit and allowed it to rest for about 30 minutes before digging in. 
  • The Results

    The DIY rub created a gorgeous bark, but the meat was juicy and rich. The butter bath added the perfect amount of sweetness and moisture. The turkey has the perfect balance of zesty sweetness with just a little heat. 

    Serving Suggestions for Honey Butter Turkey Breast

    Snack on this turkey or slice it up to make sandwiches. If you want to make an entire spread, pair this tasty main dish with my amazing green bean casserole and sweet potato pie. You can find both of those recipes in my Thanksgiving roundup. 

    Storing Honey Butter Turkey Breast

    If you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for up to four days or freeze them for up to 6 months. 

    Equipment and Tools

    Traeger Ironwood 885, wood pellets, cutting board, heavy-duty aluminum foil, instant-read meat thermometer, Yeti Cooler, insulated gloves for handling meat  

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